Sarver Heart Center Grand Rounds - Mechanisms of Cardiac Arrhythmias: Ectopy and Fibrillation

Friday, September 7, 2018 - 12:00pm
Event Location: 

Sarver Heart Center, Room 4137

Mechanisms of Cardiac Arrhythmias: Ectopy and Fibrillation

Alan Garfinkel, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine, UCLA

The lack of good therapeutic options for the leading cardiac arrhythmias is rooted in the lack of understanding of their fundamental mechanisms. Dr. Garfinkel will discuss ectopy, especially as mediated by Early Afterdepolarizations (EADs), and fibrillation (atrial and ventricular) in terms of their fundamental underlying mechanisms: what is happening in the cell and/or tissue in these phenomena? For example, many factors predispose to or induce fibrillation: genetic mutations, drugs, etc., but what is fibrillation?

He will approach these questions through basic physics, as expressed in mathematical models of these arrhythmias. He will review work in the mathematical modeling of cardiac arrhythmias, in a format designed for the non-mathematician. Understanding these mathematical models, and what they say about mechanisms, will enable physicians to propose novel therapies for these arrhythmias.

Dr. Alan Garfinkel received his undergraduate degree from Cornell in math and philosophy, and his PhD from Harvard in philosophy and math. He specializes in applications of nonlinear dynamics to physiology, including the mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias. He also uses partial differential equations to study pattern formation in physiology and pathophysiology. He is now Research Professor of Medicine (Cardiology). In 2019 he will be the Newton Abraham visiting Professor at Oxford.